Design for Diversity at ACH 2019

Amanda and Cara co-chaired a panel, “Designing Inclusive Information Systems: From Theory to Change,” with case study authors Dorothy Berry, Emily Drabinski, Raffaele Viglianti, and Scott Young at the 2019 Association for Computers and the Humanities meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.

From the proposal: “This roundtable will facilitate a lively discussion on the nuts and bolts of developing of inclusive information systems, with a particular focus on partnerships with underrepresented groups. By centering information systems, we focus on issues such as the harm caused by cataloging standards that classify living, breathing people as “illegal aliens”, or data models that enforce strict gender binaries such as “woman or man” when human experience is much broader. The roundtable moderators have explored the strategies and resources needed to create more inclusive information systems through a two-year project focused on technical systems in libraries, archives, and museums. Moderators will first frame the discussion by sharing the results of that project, including areas for future research.

One of the core outcomes of that project was a series of case studies focused on real-world scenarios in the use and design of information systems. A group of these case study authors will then dig into the concrete details of developing inclusive systems by presenting and analyzing their case studies, which cover topics such as metadata creation and aggregation for African American archives, user experience design with Native American Youth, marked and unmarked knowledge in library catalogs, linked open data for Asian American art history, and minimal computing for sustainability and expanded access.

Through these case studies, we will map out areas of commonality in both what makes creating more inclusive systems possible, and what makes it difficult, leading us to a better understanding of the potential points of impact in cultural heritage practice. Attendees will leave with a greater understanding of theoretical work across disciplines such as library and information science, digital humanities, archival science, and computer science. Attendees will also leave with a greater understanding of the design decisions that are made in the everyday practice of creating inclusive information systems, and how they might create more inclusive information systems in their own work.”